Vaal Dam is ris­ing but the coun­try still needs to save wa­ter

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - ILANIT CHERNICK ilanit.chernick@inl.co.za

THE Vaal Dam has gone up for the 11th con­sec­u­tive week, how­ever, the De­part­ment of Wa­ter and San­i­ta­tion has made it clear that South Africa is still in a drought.

“The Vaal Dam has reached 63.4 per­cent while the na­tional level is just above 53 per­cent,” the de­part­ment said.

How­ever, de­spite the in­crease in lev­els due to re­cent rain­fall the the de­part­ment said the coun­try must con­tinue to save wa­ter. “Gaut­eng and the coun­try in its en­tirety are not out of the woods. It’s not enough.”

Ear­lier this month, The Star went on a me­dia tour of the dam where de­part­ment spokesper­son Sput­nik Ratau said the prov­ince needed sig­nif­i­cantly above nor­mal rain­fall.

“We have to re­mem­ber that with high tem­per­a­tures, there is also a high evap­o­ra­tion rate. The more rain we get, the bet­ter. We need to take the mes­sage the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties say se­ri­ously.”

Mean­while, Joburg Wa­ter an­nounced yes­ter­day that it would con­tinue re­strict­ing wa­ter sup­ply overnight to sev­eral ar­eas around the Deep South, Soweto, Midrand and Rand­burg, to name a few. “This is prompted by a need to curb wa­ter us­age on some of our reser­voir sites that are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing high con­sump­tion,” said spokesper­son Tidi­malo Chuene.

“The in­ten­tion is to re­duce es­ca­lat­ing wa­ter con­sump­tion since the an­nounce­ment of wa­ter re­stric­tions by the de­part­ment of wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion.

“Joburg is still un­der level 2 wa­ter re­stric­tions de­spite the re­cent rain­fall. Wa­ter lev­els at the In­te­grated Vaal River sys­tem have not risen suf­fi­ciently to above sat­is­fac­tory lev­els.” Some of the reser­voirs af­fected in­clude Diep­kloof Reser­voir, Grand Cen­tral Reser­voir, Honey­dew Tower and the En­nerdale and Law­ley Reser­voir.

Chuene said tech­ni­cians would be clos­ing out­let valves to sev­eral reser­voirs be­tween 8pm and 4am, re­sult­ing in no wa­ter sup­ply at all dur­ing th­ese times.

“This is a method that we have suc­cess­fully used to sta­bilise sup­ply in ar­eas around Le­na­sia, North­cliff, Fair­lands and Black­heath, which were strug­gling with sup­ply in Novem­ber.

“One other factor that con­trib­uted to our suc­cess in th­ese ar­eas is con­sumers who have since re­duced their con­sump­tion sig­nif­i­cantly,” she said.

So far, the Joburg metro po­lice de­part­ment has is­sued a to­tal of 665 fines to con­sumers across the city found con­tra­ven­ing the wa­ter ser­vices by-law.

The po­lice will con­tinue mon­i­tor­ing waste­ful wa­ter use.

Chuene said Joburg Wa­ter was grate­ful to all those who con­tin­ued to save wa­ter. @Lanc_02 See Page 6

‘Joburg is still un­der level 2 wa­ter re­stric­tions’

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